My father rented out his shophouse to someone introduced by my uncle , who was the Penghulu Mukim ( it was in the 60s ). It was a wooden shophouse and rented at rm 30 per month. Much later I found out from my mother that Awang was an ex-comunist who had surrendered and was sent to my kampung ( by the authorities, I suppose ) to lead a normal life. His real name was Ah Fatt from Selangor . Soon the sundryshop became very popular and those other Chinese were envious of him. They realised the shop had good feng shui, and is still in business until today.
Those days me and my sister used to buy titbits from the shop - kuaci, asam boi, asam manis, dried ginger, dried lime and many other types of sweet and sour junk food all from China ( judging by the Chinese characters on the cover ). My mother bought ' modern ' shampoo for us ie kao feather shampoo in sachets ( in powder form ) and introduced body cream to us. Since my sister is 6 years younger than me, I got to enjoy all those luxuries.
Every Chinese New Year, Awang will give us a lot of Mandarin oranges and during Hari Raya he will send us a crate of aerated water. My mother will in return gave him some ketupat and rendang and some raya goodies.
A few years later, Awang was joined by a couple from Johor, my mum called him Pomen (foreman) and we called the wife Nyah ( nyonya ) - they are Awang's partner and they live together in the shop. My mother said Pomen has tattooes in both his hands , so she concluded he must be an ex-gangstar ( so I suppose Pomen is also dalam buangan ) He just appeared once a year - only during Tahun Baru.
Nyah on the other hand, opened her own corner for ladies to wash and cut their hair. Later she planted pokok kedondong , cermai and mango, and she sells home made preserved kedondong, cermai and mango until today.When Awang died of cardiac arrest in late 70s, Nyah took over the ever expanding business.
Nyah told my mother Pomen worked in Sabah and Indonesia, but my mother suspected he was in jail most of the time. Anyway, none of us were scared or suspicious of them, in fact the whole kampung love Awang ( young and friendly ) so much so Kedai Awang has the most customers until today!
Mother told me, Pomen is not jealous of Nyah and Awang staying under one roof without Pomen around. Mum said muslims cannot live with bukan mahram in the same house . When one of Nyah's son was born so plump like Awang, mother suspected that he is anak Awang not anak Pomen !
People of today would not be so trusting and so easy to accept all those x - people - x-comunist, x-convict, x-drug addict , x-prostitute , x-conman to mingle freely or to start a new life in their society. They will always be outcasted!